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Section A: General News


CMMC offers calcium scoring


CMMC offers calcium scoring
The “white” areas on the image indicate a build-up of calcium in the artery.


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July 18, 2012
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FLORESVILLE -- Connally Memorial Medical Center (CMMC) now offers cardiac calcium scoring. Cardiac calcium scoring is a screening tool used to detect calcium deposits in coronary arteries. The existence of calcium deposits is directly linked to coronary plaque, which, in turn, is directly connected to the risk that coronary disease could develop.

Heart disease tragically affects almost every family in the United States and is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. Coronary artery disease is the most common type of heart disease and can lead to heart attacks, heart failure, strokes, arrhythmia, and angina.

There is no preparation necessary for a calcium scoring scan, and the entire process takes less than an hour. First, a brief personal and family history is taken, and then a computed tomography (CT) scan of the heart and coronary arteries is performed. The scanner takes dozens of images during the fractions of a second between heartbeats.

“Using the CT scan and the patient’s history, a total calcium score is calculated,” said Dr. Devraj Nayak, a CMMC cardiologist. “That score is then compared to patient databases according to gender and age to come up with a final number. The lower the score, the better it is, and a figure of 150 or more indicates an unhealthy buildup of calcium deposits.”

Individuals are then encouraged to discuss the results with their own doctors. A plan of action can be tailored to each person’s unique needs. That plan can be anything from eating a healthier diet, exercising, regularly checking blood pressure and cholesterol, managing diabetes, and/or taking medications as prescribed.

Some risk factors for heart disease are part of our individual genetics, and others can be caused by lifestyle choices. Both include:

•Being a man older than 40

•Being a woman older than 50 or postmenopausal

•Having an abnormal cholesterol level

•Sharing a family history of heart disease

•Living with diabetes

•Smoking

•Being overweight

•Not being physically active.

For more information, visit www.connallymmc.org or call Katie Etringer at 830-393-1311.
 

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